PTI and PML-N are ready for their political war. The PTI chairman Imran Khan addressed the nation over the issue of the Panama leaks from his residence in Bani Gala, despite refusal of the government to allow his address on the state-owned Pakistan television. With the chairman not ready to answer questions during the address, is it yet another speech on garnering a senseless ‘revolution’, or has he actually taken a sensible stance?
Imran Khan made his position clear on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, he must resign. His nemesis has lost all moral authority to rule the people, and that the panama leaks have made this immensely clear. He has announced that he will not back off until justice is served, where this can only mean one thing for him- a sit in outside the Prime Minister’s residence starting from the 24th of April in Lahore.
Though the nation is sick of PTI’s disruptive “container politics”, international examples are that of heads of states resigning over the offshoring fiasco, or mass protests asking for resignations. This time, the PM is the one who has to either prove his complete innocence- not just in the sense that the money siphoned offshore was done technically legally, but that it was made legally and that all assets were declared and not hidden. This is regardless of what the PTI wants- this is a national problem. The PML-N can play politics all it likes, can try to distract from the issue with raising fingers at Shaukhat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital (SKMCH), but it does not change the fact that this will become the legacy of the Sharif’s- that an unfathomable amount of money was made by the first family of Pakistan, and it was hidden outside Pakistan, because they themselves, being part of the political and governmental elite, thought their country unfit for their money.
The PML-N will escape unscathed, but the party must remember it gets votes because of long established networks of power, not because the Pakistani nation thinks that the members of the parties are uncorrupt, or are role models. They may get the elections, but they will never get the unequivocal respect of an upstanding Pakistani citizen. And the reverse can be said for Imran Khan- people may never agree with his politics, or his strategies, but there is general consensus on the fact that he is not a corrupt man, neither is his family, nor is SKMCH. This perception has stood the test of time. But in the short run, the Sharif’s money is parked in Panama, and that is where it will stay, and Nawaz Sharif will stay in Prime Minister house.